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Should My Kiddo Be Casein-free?

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I'm wondering if I need to take kiddo(11) casein-free and would appreciate some advice, support etc. I guess I feel overwhelmed and can't seem to take the next step. Not sure what it is either. Some background is here. http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.ph...mp;#entry572531 He doesn't have any obvious symptoms, unlike myself-I'm CF. He does have ADHD and significant allergic load and I'm trying to figure out what the next thing that will help him is. What to tackle next since gluten is out of the way? His Enterolab testing results for casein were 13 units with the normal range <10 units. They recommend anything above 10 be removed from the diet but I guess I'm wondering still what this test result means. How much is he reacting? Am I just being dense? I just feel that we have enough challenges already and don't want to eliminate stuff unnecessarily, dietary changes can be wearing. But, with my experience, I know it can make all the difference in the world and is worth it if needed. I also have hesitated to eliminate it because as I try to keep a lid on the carbs, I find myself relying more on cheese sticks for snack and yogurt for breakfast for example, to fill him up and replace carbs. I can live on nuts, meat and veg. but it is a challenge to keep a growing boy fed! I give him 2 dinners regularly. He's a bottomless pit with a hollow leg and you'd never know he eats heartily by looking at him! I think Paleo would be really good for him but I just somehow can't work it out in reality. My guess is that taking him CF at least would cut down on his nasal stuffiness like it did for me. Recently, I didn't commit to CF(for him) but just tried to see how many days I could last without giving in to dairy, out of convenience, and I lasted 2-3 days and then caved. I've also considered doing the 4 day rotation, which has some merits but is a pain to keep track of unless I just designate weekdays CF and weekend free days or something like that. I don't have trouble managing these things with me but find it so hard with him. Other issues are vise versa. Sigh...

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Does he like coconut milk?

Do you have any ghee? Can he handle the carbs in potatoes or sweet potatoes or gluten-free oatmeal? If so, the potatoes can be baked ahead and make good snacks with lots of ghee.

If the carbs are a problem, Cauliflower "rice" with ghee is good eating and I think quinoa would work too.

Maybe you could try one CF dish or strategy per week until you have a repertoire that you feel comfortable with?

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You could commit to trying it - full on - for two weeks and see how he feels.

At least you would learn something.

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Thank you both for your replys. I had thought of giving it a 2 week trial. Maybe Xmas break and maybe I'll do some homework until then, make lists of snacks, menu plans etc. I've done that in the past, maybe it's time again. I find that breaks from school are the easiest time to do these dietary experiments.

I probably overwhelm myself and try to tackle too many things at once in my mind.

He can be bouncy at times so I am trying to maintain a reasonable balance with carbs and protein. It's still a work in progress for me to find low-carb dairy-free things that the whole family will eat with me and with me being low-carb, we've doubled our meat consumption but I'm picky about my meats so we are still adjusting to finding financial balance with our grocery budget.

Fortunately, he does like coconut milk. I really need to explore ways to use it.

Subbing in dishes one at a time seems manageable to me. I guess it's just that after school time-as soon as he steps foot in the house at 3, he's starving and doesn't stop 'till he goes to bed. I really do feel like I exist to feed him afterschool! It's actually stressful for me. I feel performance pressure of sorts and he'll eat veg and meat and a moderate serving of carb and then have a second complete dinner again later. DH will often come home for work later in the evening and cook himself dinner and DS will have some if I haven't already given him a second dinner. The other day it was a whole chicken breast after having a pork chop dinner that I had made him earlier. I feed him a snack after school and hope it buys some time for myself to get dinner ready and he has a snack after dinner as well. Although I am trying to keep a lid on that sometimes and putting my foot down and saying kitchen's closed.

I did find a new allergist in hopes of getting us a little more support and direction. I just need to get us in.

Thanks to whoever is listening. I need to talk these things out and vent a bit. We've been on this journey for so long it seems and it's hard to see or I lose track of any progress we've made, although I'm sure we have made some. I keep hoping for that miracle cure that giving up gluten was for me but I'm sure that people around me couldn't see what a miracle it was until I had been gluten-free a long time. That's what makes it hard to know if I'm doing the right thing for kiddo. Emotionally maybe I give up or feel defeated before I start. Maybe I try too hard. It just seems like such a never ending struggle to keep us both on track.

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I guess it's just that after school time-as soon as he steps foot in the house at 3, he's starving and doesn't stop 'till he goes to bed. I really do feel like I exist to feed him afterschool! It's actually stressful for me. I feel performance pressure of sorts and he'll eat veg and meat and a moderate serving of carb and then have a second complete dinner again later.

I was this way when I was a kid---you'd feed me twelve times in a day and I'd never be full. But I was raised in a family where the girls learned how to cook before we hit preadolescence, so I could help feed myself. Being told that "parent A" didn't exist only to feed me made me grow up a bit and take responsibility for myself. It also helped me figure out what worked for me without my parents being responsible for everything.

We learned really quickly that I felt better if I ate large, balanced amounts of protein, vegetables, and starches. Three medium meals with snacks in between and after worked best for me, so we'd keep cooked vegetables and rice in the fridge where all I had to do was reheat them. Nuts were my lifeline and still are when I need extra protein; I eat a lot of chickpeas now when my protein levels are low and I don't have extra meat handy. Lunch meats are also good--keeping turkey and roast beef in the fridge is really helpful for me. Tortilla chips and salsa are good for a "help, must have carbs" snack; fruit snacks are useful for those days when I need a boost of sugar to keep me from curling up at that moment. (Not the best snack in the world, but good for every once in a while.) Popcorn was a snack that my parents pushed a lot in high school, and that I use for study breaks now. Fruit gives me an extra sugar boost when absolutely necessary. I keep boxed gluten free soups in my dorm room now for extra food.

Oh, and keeping cooked potatoes in the fridge was another good trick--toss it into the microwave, put some form of condiment on it (cheese when I was a kid, nutritional yeast now, sometimes steak sauce or bacon or other meat), and have a good quick snack that's filling.

In the days before I was dairy free, cheese was a quick snack as well. But I was also the hyperactive, quick tempered brat from hell--despite the fact that I have wonderful manners. When I went dairy free and gluten free, everyone agreed that I barely resembled the girl who had to keep moving to keep her attention focused.

Hopefully, some of this helps.

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Thanks for sharing your experiences and advice AKcollegestudent.

Several years ago I started teaching him kitchen skills and he likes being in the kitchen. It's a life skill everyone should have, especially with dietary issues on board. He's almost but not quite to the point where he can make things himself. He still needs a little advice and direction. If I got a little organized with some things like you suggested... with some components on hand...maybe a list of make your own second dinners posted on the fridge! That gives me some possible ideas and direction anyway. This week DH ,coincidentally, brought home a small non-stick pan just right for one egg and showed Ds how to use it to make scrambled eggs, which he wasn't interested in before. I showed him how to add stuff to it, like ham, so now he's on a scrambled egg kick!

I push popcorn alot too. ;)

Lunchmeat is something we don't keep alot of on hand, except ham but I had thought of buying more varieties for him.

Your post was a good reminder to me too to be patient with myself. I was reminded that I am learning all this from scratch. It's a journey. My mother didn't cook and we didn't eat much and what I ate was mostly carbs and dairy :o . If we were hungry, we were given a box of cereal and if we ate it all between the two of us in one sitting that was OK :o No offense to my mother who has truely suffered from this disease and no blame, but sometimes it makes me think no wonder my health is where it is today. I know she just didn't know how to do differently.

On another front, we have an appointment with a new allergist next week so I am hopeful that will provided more support and direction. It may not be fun as he is one who might test extensively and is willing to explore things our other one didn't but that's what we need.

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coconut milk custard! Not kid friendly for the cooking (water bath) unless you can find a way to do this in the microwave. But the prep is very simple.

Here's an interesting sweet potato pudding with coconut milk http://www.culinate.com/recipes/collection...toasted_coconut

Miracle noodles with ghee?

I bake sweet potatoes ahead of time and serve small amounts of that, again, with lots of ghee.

I remember my cousins eating a lot of celery sticks with nut butters. My aunt seemed to do nothing but feed those 2 boys!

Lots of chicken broth, because it can be made ahead and cooked down. Then put 1 tablespoon in a mug and add hot water.

It sounds like he's having a great time with the scrambled eggs. I've alwys heard that's the tradional place to start with stovetop cooking. I agree, everyone should be able to cook. If he should marry someday, your daughter in law is going to love you!

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